Pulled pork is a great American classic. It’s an instant crowd pleaser, as well as being an easy and economical way to feed large groups. This recipe uses the US cut, ‘pork butt’ (or ‘Boston roast’) which quite literally falls apart after cooking. Contrary to what the name implies, ‘pork butt’ actually comes from the shoulder, so if you’re struggling to get your hands on ‘butt’, then ask your butcher for blade or shoulder instead.
Traditional American barbecue dishes are rich with wood smoke flavours. But you don’t need to get out the BBQ and brave the British drizzle to get the same effect. These flavours can be replicated in a home oven with a couple of magic ingredients. We added two teaspoons of liquid smoke into the marinade – an ingredient made using filtered smoke condensate. It can be intimidating when faced with a bottle of liquid smoke because, much like vanilla extract, the condensed aromas smell nothing like the end flavours diluted in a litre or so of marinade. But be brave, and do add a dash –you’ll be rewarded with smoky frontier flavours which make this a recipe to repeat time and time again.
Smoky Pulled Pork
3kg pork butt
For the marinade
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
150ml vegetable oil
150ml white wine vinegar
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
150g brown sugar
60ml Worcestershire sauce (we used Lea & Perrins)
2tsp mustard powder (or 2 tbsp of mustard)
2tsp hickory or mesquite liquid smoke
- Pour two tablespoons of vegetable oil into a high-sided pan, and sweat the onions and garlic for 10 minutes.
- Add the rest of the vegetable oil, white wine vinegar, chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, mustard powder and liquid smoke. Set aside to cool.
- Score the pork and put inside a zip-lock freezer bag. Pour the cooled marinade over it and leave in the fridge for at least three hours – preferably overnight.
- Place the pork into an ovenproof dish. Pour over the the marinade, and cover with a lid. Cook the pork at 150°C for 5-6 hours, or until it can be gently pulled apart with a fork.
- Remove the pork from the dish, put it on a wooden board, and use two forks to shred it apart. In the meantime, heat the pan containing the marinade until it reduces by half.
- Return the pulled pork to the pan of hot marinade, and stir it through so that all of the meat is coated in the sticky sauce.